Would you lease your horse out to lesson program? - The Horse Forum

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post #1 of 23 Old 02-26-2014, 06:22 PM Thread Starter
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Would you lease your horse out to lesson program?

I have a wonderful horse who is my dream horse. We have a special bond and he looks out for me while riding. I keep him on my property. I spoil him and put his care and well being as one of my top priorities. I am pregnant and was thinking of leasing him out for a year to avoid the cost and time of horse ownership while I can't ride and also so he doesn't sit around loosing all I have trained him and not being ridden for a year. I am talking to a local large barn. They are interested in taking him for 1 year for thier lesson program. Is this a good idea? I see pro's and con's... He will most likely be well cared for in a good environment. Are lesson horses typically overworked and sour from repetition - Especially if the barn owner has nothing to loose since he is returning the horse after one year? My fears of a private lessee are that he may not be ridden correctly or taken care of properly? What are ideas on this? Good idea or Bad idea? Very nervous about it.......
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post #2 of 23 Old 02-26-2014, 06:27 PM Thread Starter
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Would you lease your horse out to lesson program?

I have a wonderful horse who is my dream horse. We have a special bond and he looks out for me while riding. I keep him on my property. I spoil him and put his care and well being as one of my top priorities. I am pregnant and was thinking of leasing him out for a year to avoid the cost and time of horse ownership while I can't ride and also so he doesn't sit around loosing all I have trained him and not being ridden for a year. I am talking to a local large barn. They are interested in taking him for 1 year for thier lesson program. Is this a good idea? I see pro's and con's... He will most likely be well cared for in a good environment. Are lesson horses typically overworked and sour from repetition - Especially if the barn owner has nothing to loose since he is returning the horse after one year? My fears of a private lessee are that he may not be ridden correctly or taken care of properly? What are ideas on this? Good idea or Bad idea? Very nervous about it.......



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post #3 of 23 Old 02-26-2014, 06:29 PM
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First, congrats :)

As for the lease, I wouldn't do it.
I tend to see lesson horses in my area which are hard mouthed BC of ppl hanging on the reins, mounting issue, and the list goes on.
If the instructor only puts riders on who are suited (same level) to your horse, I think it could work..but I wouldn't risk it.
I'd consider leasing to one or two ppl over a lesson lease.
Just my 2 cents.
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post #4 of 23 Old 02-26-2014, 06:33 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks. I have always kept my own horses, so I'm not to familiar with barns... but I was thinking that may be the case....
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post #5 of 23 Old 02-26-2014, 06:41 PM
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I have seen it work successfully, I used to work with a lesson program and we leased a couple different horses from private owners for various reasons while I was there.

IF you take the time to watch the lesson barn operate on a few different occasions, develop a good working relationship with the program director and/or instructors and are happy with how that makes you feel, that's a good place to start. From there I would absolutely recommend laying down some strict guidelines. We were always happy to stick to restrictions an owner set. If you don't want the horse used in more then 10 lessons a week, state that. If your horse requires at least a couple days off a week, as in no riding period, state that and mean it. Talk about wether the horse can be taken on trail or groomed/bathed by students without instructor supervision. Any worry you have, be sure to talk it all over. A lease with a lesson barn could require a bit more of an extensive signed contract then just private lease.

If you did decide to go ahead with leasing to them I would make a point to still pop in periodically to check on your horse. Check in when you know it'll be used in a lesson and when you expect the horse to be in it's stall. If you can't because of a baby bump (congrats!!) see if a horse wise friend will stop by for you. If the barn isn't happy with this then you should run.

Allowing a private, off property lease can be just as dangerous IMO as leasing a horse to a lesson program.
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post #6 of 23 Old 02-26-2014, 06:44 PM
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It totally depends on your horse and the trainer.

My friend let the trainer at our barn use her little 13.3hh Polish Arab mare as a lesson horse for certain kids. Cassie (the mare) loved kids and was very responsive and conscientious of them. The trainer only put kids up on Cassie who were a little further along in their lessons (so no absolute newbies) and maybe didn't feel very comfortable on the bigger 15hh QHs that were typically used for lessons. It worked out well because my friend still did groundwork with Cassie and Cassie got to have a job when she might have otherwise been relegated to a stall (she was going through the equivalent of horsey menopause).

However, if the owner of the barn is going to toss anyone up on your horse and you know that he is only comfortable with people who have a certain skill level, I wouldn't do it.
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post #7 of 23 Old 02-26-2014, 06:45 PM Thread Starter
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Great reply! Yes, a private lease could be bad too. I love the idea about setting strict riding limits per week/day. Thanks.
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post #8 of 23 Old 02-26-2014, 06:50 PM
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I wouldn't do it. If your horse is decently trained he is likely going to retain most, if of all, of his training while he sits for the year. He might need a little refresher but most likely nothing major. On the other hand - bad riders can quickly degrade his training. If one of the students is heavy handed - he could get bracy or otherwise learn bad habits. Every time someone interacts with a horse they are training them - good or bad.

The only way I would do something like this is if there were going to only be one or two people riding him that year and I had pre-approved them as riders.

All I pay my psychiatrist is cost of feed and hay, and he'll listen to me any day!

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post #9 of 23 Old 02-26-2014, 06:55 PM
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You would have to discuss what level of riders will be riding him in the lessons and how frequent he would be used. He's your horse and you know him best, that said if he was to be used for a bunch of beginner he may or may not be the same after a year of a bunch of new riders pulling on his mouth and giving wrong cues vs just one person leasing him.

As for leasing to 1 person, you can pick who rides him and find him a good match. Someone who will ride him and care for him as you do. And if it doesnt work out or you find that they are not giving him the best care you can always cancel the agreement.

Make sure everything is in writing concerning who rides him and when/how much, where he will be kept, who will care for him, who pays for feed, trimming, board, any emergency vet bills, etc and be very detailed. Make sure it is also in writing that at any time you feel your horse is not meeting expectations of care you can cancel the agreement. Etc There are others on here that know more about lease agreements.

I personally would just keep him if money wasnt an issue. Most horses will be fine with a year off in the pasture, and you could do a bunch of ground work with him (teach him some tricks) and strengthen your bond while you are at it and not risk anyone else ruining your training on him.
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post #10 of 23 Old 02-26-2014, 06:56 PM
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I know of a riding school that continuously jumps their horses nearly every day, and get ridden every day. Some horses like being ridden ever day or don't care but I know many horses that would get to edgy, and sore from being ridden every day.

I would want to know how much the horse would be ridden and you can expect your horse to probably come back with a hard mouth and duller sides... If his ridden by begginers.

I think a lease may be better depending on the leasee.

The foolish reject what they see, not what they think,
The wise reject what they think, not what they see.
-Huang Po
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